What You Need Now: A She-Wolf of Wall Street Power Suit

The Wolf of Wall Street is aggressive in plot, length and decibels. It is exactly the kind of movie you might feel like seeing after two days of polite conversation and delayed hangovers brought on by mindless consumption of average quality merlot, which might explain why the screening I went to last night was completely packed out by annoying families. Another contributing factor is that it’s one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2013, naturally: It’s directed by Martin Scorsese, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and it delivers on the wicked mix of humor and spectacle it promises. 

It also delivers on unabashed misogyny, which is something I could take or leave. I walked out feeling both very impressed, mildly ashamed at the ease with which I managed to shut myself off and enjoy the film for what it was: A party that dragged on just a little too long. I didn’t want to snort blow off some boobs as much as I might have wanted to during the first 60 minutes, but I did crave something else essential to what there was of a plot: A real grown-up person suit.

Alexa Chung

Vital to The Wolf of Wall Street’s drug-fuelled debauchery and high-finance hustling are the suits. At the start of the film DiCaprio’s character Jourdan Belfort, “the wolf”, is dressed in endearingly tragic double-breasted jackets, which are soon swapped for shiny silk Giorgio Armani pinstripes and royal blue power ties. In real life his fancier suits were made by Manhattan tailor Anthony Giliberto, who’s life became so inextricably interwoven with Belfort’s Stratton Oakmont that he was even recruited to be a broker with the company (he turned it down).

The women’s clothes are in complete contrast with the Wolf’s wide shoulders and even wider lapels, which is to say that they normally aren’t wearing any. There is a complete lack of any Armani silk pinstripes or smooth Donna Karan jackets on the shoulders of the women, who are instead naked and giving blowjobs in elevators. When the camera pans out you can see there are women who appear to be doing actual work in the Stratton Oakmont offices, but there are none who’s style commands anywhere near as much attention as the naked hookers do. The exception is mom-turned-power broker Kimmie Belzer, but her Pepto pink two-piece is something lady suit aficionados Lauren Hutton or Nancy Reagan wouldn’t be caught dead in.

In 1990 Vogue dealt the traditional women’s power suit a heavy blow by reporting, “The message of competence and confidence sent by the woman in a gray pin-striped suit has been received, and the majority of designers feel it’s time to move on.” Sure, in 2013 it’s no longer necessary to look like a man, but it’s still fun to borrow from them. The power is now in the wool quality or the hidden printed lining rather than the size of the lapels. My own dream combo might be what Margot Robbie’s character would wear if she was into Saint Laurent rather than sex addiction, with a silhouette better suited for happy hours than office ones. For daytime it’d be Bianca Jagger back when, or Hutton circa now – complete with matching white sneakers — if bright white wasn’t so incompatible with red wine and Sriracha.

Jourdan Belforts of the world, you can keep your hookers and blow, but I’ll take your suits (to my own tailor). They might no longer be guaranteed career turbochargers, but they do look awesome when everyone else is wearing waterfall cardigans.

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